December 2, 1863.
FOR the last three weeks I have not only been busy, but have had company occupying my room, making it almost impossible for me to write anything. Last week was a stirring time with us, and a magnificent victory was won. I am sorry you could not be here. The spectacle was grand beyond anything that has been or is likely to be on this continent. It is the first battlefield I have ever seen where a plan could be followed and from one place the whole field be within one view. At the commencement the battle line was fifteen miles long. Hooker on our right soon carried the point of Lookout Mountain, and Sherman the north end of Missionary Ridge, thus shortening the line by five or six miles and bringing the whole within one view. Our troops behaved most magnificently, and have inflicted on the enemy the heaviest blow they have received during the war. . . 11
11 “After having broken the impedimenta which closed the passage of the Mississippi, it is again Grant,” writes the Count of Paris of the victory at Chattanooga, “who has just opened the doors of Georgia. The Federal armies have at last found the warrior worthy to lead them. The bold and skilful manoeuvres which began in the valley of Lookout Mountain, and terminated a month later near the spot where Bragg and Davis had contemplated a Union army besieged at their feet, enhance the glory of the conqueror of Vicksburg. He has proved that his mind, powerful to conceive, firm to execute, is fertile in resources at the critical time.”
SOURCE: James Grant Wilson, Editor, General Grant’s Letters to a Friend 1861-1880, p. 31, 115-6